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tv   Newsline  PBS  May 20, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT

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welcome to "newsline." i'm michio kijima in tokyo with the news at this hour. a top south korean official says north korean leader kim jong il could be visiting china instead of his heir apparent as initially reported. the official retracted earlier remarks that a north korean train that arrived in northeastern china was carrying
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the north korean leader's son, kim jong un. he explained that intelligence reports indicated that the train was most likely carrying kim jong il himself. sources familiar with the china/north korean relations said the delegations left two men at a province and stopped at a lake where a monument honors the late founder of north korea, kim il song. an employee at a hotel told nhk that a north korean leader had arrived and that people were banned from entering nearby hotels and restaurants. kim jong il is expected to visit cities in northeastern china. the leaders of japan, china, and south korea are meeting this weekend in tokyo. this get-together will be the fourth in a series of high-level talks. japan's prime minister naoto kan and chinese premier wen jiabao and south korean prime minister lee myung-bak will hold talks on saturday. nhk world's hiroki najima is in studio to guide us through all this.
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now, hiroki, the leaders are expected to make a statement of cooperation on nuclear safety. what do you make of this statement? >> well, south korea and china want to make sure that prime minister kan's administration gives them sufficient information if something happens at fukushima daiichi. the japanese government didn't notify neighboring countries before radioactive water from the plant was released into the ocean in april. south korea criticized it, saying that violated international law. but japan said it followed protocol by informing the international atmospheric energy agency of the release in advance. china also expressed concern about the impact the contaminated water would have on the environment. so both countries are urging japan to provide up-to-date information without delay. >> let's put aside this
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fukushima nuclear accident issue for a minute. could this meeting be a good opportunity for japan and china to improve their strained relations? >> i think so. the tension between japan and china has been rising since a chinese trawler collided with japanese patrol boats last september. but both countries are deepening economic ties, so they do not want relations getting worse. >> now i want to ask you about the fukushima nuclear accident once again. as you mentioned china and south korea are very suspicious about the transparency of the japanese government regarding the accident. do you see -- why are they so eager to tackle this issue? is there any reason why? >> well, for one reason, both countries are promoting nuclear power generation. so south korea gets 36% of its energy from nuclear power. and china's dependence is just 2%, but is planning to build nuclear plants. china and south korea fear that the fukushima accident may affect their energy policy.
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so that's why they're asking japan for accurate information on what's going on at the damaged plant. so they need to address their citizens' concerns. >> as you mentioned, chinese premier and south korean president are to visit some of the disaster zones in the tohoku region. what do you make of their planned visit? >> it will help japan in its ongoing effort to deal with unfounded rumors and inform people about the facts regarding radioactive substances in the east and northeast. it will show the leaders that it's safe to visit this country. the trick is to apply the lateral meeting will also foreign nations and territories that japan's agricultural products are safe and despite fears of radiation contamination. >> earlier in the newscast we talked about special train, that seemed to have crossed into china and our sources in south korea said that kim jong il
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himself is likely to be on that train. now this nuclear issue regarding north korea, do you think they will be talking about that issue during the weekend summit meeting in tokyo? >> yes. recently north korea seemed to show it's ready for dialogue. it invited former u.s. president jimmy carter to visit, and kim jong il gave him a message saying he wants to meet south korean president, lee myung-bak. but at the same time, the north's nuclear development is continuing. so leaders of china, south korea and japan will call for the resumption of six-party talks and urge north korea to take steps toward denuclearization. >> all right. thanks, nhk world's hiroki najima reporting for us. u.s. president barack obama has urged israel to withdraw from the west bank and other territories it occupied in the 1967 war and to freeze settlement activities in those areas.
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>> we believe the borders of israel and palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps. >> in mismiddle east policy speech on thursday, obama also criticized palestinian leadership for its plan to seek admission to the united nations as an independent state at the u.n. general assembly in september. he added the palestinians should seek peace through negotiations. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu rejected obama's speech saying the viability of a palestinian should not come back at the expense of israel's existence. meanwhile, palestinian president mahmoud abbas has welcomed obama's call for israel to macon sessions in his middle east policy speech. a senior palestinian official said abbas is thankful for obama's continued efforts toward restarting the peace negotiations. a senior u.s. researcher on the
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council for foreign relations kupchan said obama's speech marks a significant shift in u.s./middle east policy. >> he was trying to breathe new life into a negotiating process that has effectively been defunct. washington expects the israeli government to make some concessions. >> kupchan praised the speech as being carefully prepared to urge both israel and palestinians to break the impasse. meanwhile, japan's foreign minister says the government supports obama's policy of backing political and economic reforms in the middle east. he said japan is willing to cooperate with the united states and the national community to help countries in the region turn into democratic, peaceful, and tolerant societies and attain peaceful economic development. tokyo electric power company has posted one of the biggest losses on record due to the huge
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costs required to try to fix the fukushima daiichi power plant damaged in the march 11th disaster. at a news conference, tepco president, masataka shimizu, said the power company suffered a net loss of about $15.4 billion in the fiscal year ended in march. the company reported extraordinary disaster-related losses amounting to about $12.6 billion. they are part of its efforts to stabilize the nuclear reactors at the plant and to restart thermal power plants in order to generate more electricity. tepco says it will sell real estate and close in-house recreational facilities to raise about $7.4 billion. the utility also says it will slim down by cutting research and development and labor costs by about $6.2 billion. >> translator: we will do our utmost to streamline the company with government support. we are thinking of ways to efficiently use funds to pay for necessary compensation.
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>> meanwhile, the government called for further efforts. >> translator: i understand they are making considerable efforts, but this is only the beginning. tepco needs to make further efforts to restructure its finances. >> in regards to the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant, tepco announced it will permanently shut down four damaged reactors. it also canceled a plan to build two more reactors at the site. president shimizu said he will resign at a stockholders' meeting scheduled for june. he will be replaced by one of the managing directors, toshio nishizawa. chairman katsumata will remain in his post. earlier ross mihara spoke with business reporter, mitsuko nishikawa, about the loss. now, mitsuko, what's your take
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on the scale of this figure? >> the loss is on an historic scale. but many analysts kind of expected it, given the severity of the crisis at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. and tepco has to make huge compensation payments to those affected by the accident. but exactly how much isn't clear yet. on top of this, the company has to spend billions of dollars on fuel for thermal power stations and alternative power generation plants to make up for lost output. in an effort to cover the damages payouts and to provide a stable supply of electricity, the company plans to sell vacation homes and athletic grounds, as well as stocks in affiliated companies. tepco will also cut labor costs with its eight executive members taking 100% pay cut. but it's obvious that such savings are just a drop in the ocean. >> so the question is, what should tepco do next? >> well, the company has to certainly regain people's trust
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as soon as possible. tepco must get the situation at its fukushima plant under control, and clarify and follow through on its compensation payment plan. the japanese government has announced a scheme to insure tepco can continue compensating those affected by the accident. let's look at some major points of the plan. the first is that tepco should be primarily responsible for payouts. the second is that an organization of japanese power companies will be set up to support tepco's compensation. another point is that the japanese government will inject public funds into the new organization. and plus, that the government committee will oversee tepco's management and finances to ensure that the company provides a stable power supply. however, this entire plan has to be approved by parliament.
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analysts say this scheme should be received positively because it draws a line between the responsibilities of tepco and japanese government commitments. >> translator: one thing that's clear is that somebody has to pay a huge amount of compensation. the scheme leaves tepco as a prior company, and the firm will have to bear the brunt of the compensation payouts. it's good that the government won't be left to shoulder all the financial burden. >> nakazura says tepco should make steady progress under this scheme to stabilize the market. >> translator: tepco should continue corporate downsizing so it's better able to pay damages. the company could sell some power plants to free up assets.
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the public that it is doing its best to stabilize the situation. >> well, the firm's future also depends on whether it can change the management structure that made the crisis worse. the company will come under heavy scrutiny as it tries to rebuild itself in the wake of japan's worst nuclear accident. >> thank you, mitsuko. that was our business reporter, mitsuko nishikawa. next we go to our bureau in bangkok. we have the latest on what's going on in the region. >> greetings. violence in southeast asia. almost three weeks of the killing of osama bin laden amid on going threat of
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retaliation, there have been ongoing attacks. a roadside bomb targeting a u.s. consulate convoy went off friday morning in northwest pakistan. the explosion killed one passerby and wounded more than ten other people, including two americans. >> translator: i was on my way to work. as i passed through this way, there was a big blast. i couldn't see anything. smoke was every where. >> the pakistani taliban claimed responsibility. it pledged to retaliate for the killing of osama bin laden by u.s. force. the attack in pakistan came one day after militants in eastern afghanistan killed at least 35 workers and wounded more than ten others at a nato funded road construction site. in singapore, a three-day
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maritime defense exhibition came to a close on friday. nhk world's yuko fukuzaki has more. >> reporter: this is asia pacific's largest international maritime defense show. more than 160 exhibitors are showcasing the latest technology and equipment available. naval officers were eager to learn about the state-of-the-art maritime artifacts, from vessels to radars. delegates from the end donation navy were briefed from representatives from a french company. they held a long and intense discussion as the navy plans to acquire three of the latest submarines. >> translator: we thoroughly discussed our future navy build-up. we plan to purchase submarines in the near future. >> reporter: countries across the asia pacific region plan to
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extend their fleets. by 2030, 900 naval vessels including 100 submarines are expected to be deployed in the region at a cost of $175 billion. china's naval defense budget has been rising by 10% a year. it has procured more vessels and conducted drills in the south china sea, heightening tensions. china sent a large number of delegates to the event. it's top navy official took a close look at the weapons on display. but he also had another agenda to offer reassurance. >> translator: let's deepen exchanges, mutual understanding and enhance cooperation so we can all develop further. >> reporter: he issued a joint
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statement on thursday expressing its united result to maintain regional security in light of china's moves in the south china sea. while the exhibition drew attention to the latest armaments, it also underscored potential security risks. a driving force of the world economy. yuko funazaki, nhk world, singapore. healthy living is a trend for people around the world and thais are no exception. organic food is gaining popularity here and a special market is bringing producers and health conscious consumers together. we go there to take a look. >> reporter: every weekend more than 40 farmers set up shop at this farmer's market located 30 kilometers west of bangkok.
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the fresh produce is either chemical free or grown using minimal chemicals and consumers can't get enough. thousands travel here to shop face to face with farmers. >> translator: we heard farmers bring their produce like chemical free mushrooms to sell direct so that's why we came. >> translator: we are afraid ordinary products may not be that safe to consume and with children in our family we're trying to use more organic products these days. >> translator: we want both vendors and buyers to feel happy so that they can sell crops at prices they want while the latter can choose what they pay. >> reporter: in addition to the final product available at the market visitors can get the
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opportunity to learn more about where these products came from. across the river, a tour takes us to a plot of land where people can see organic farming in practice. on the 48,000 square meter plot, farmers are required to work in ways that don't harm the eco system. >> translator: this is a liquid fertilizer made from indigenous micro organisms, mixed with discarded vegetables. >> reporter: not only fertilizer, but pesticides produced from locally accessible ingredients like lemongrass and garlic. farmers rotate their crops to keep the soil healthy and fertile and city dwellers are interested in learning organic skills. >> translator: most are impressed because of the chemical free approach.
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>> the market is intended to promote sustainable and profitable ways of farming. it will be a place where consumers can find safe, nourishing produce. but, it has also become a tourist destination where visitors can exchange knowledge on how to live more healthily. >> so they say you are what you eat. it's a notion that's so very true. that wraps up our bulletin. i'm reporting from bangkok. bye now. day 13 of sumo from tokyo. hakuho maintained his unbeaten record.
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it's action time. kaisei in his debut of the tournament has been terrific. kakuryu is his biggest challenge. kakuryu can be brilliant. the big brazilian fights with all his might overpowered the mongolian. throwing attempts from both, experience comes to play as he takes kaisei down the way and then next with a twisting underarm throw. both had ten wins and three losses, but out of the race. a match-up of two with two losses. will baruto stay in the race or will it be tochinoshin? beaten him in seven previous attempts. a slight move to the side by tochinoshin. baruto stays focused as they settle into a battle.
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each man gets a hold but the other shakes it off. we now cut to the business end as baruto swings tochinoshin around who here tries to foot swing. baruto attempts a head throw. tochinoshin wins the throwing contest with an overarm throw. tochinoshin stays in the race but will need luck. hakuho has fought 102 bouts in the last seven turneys and only lost two matches. here's today's hakuho match. hakuho is chasing a record equally seven tournament victories in a row. harumafuji has only won once in the last nine bouts. he charges. hakuho attacks harumafuji.
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forces him to the edge and out. it's an upset. now that has thrown the cat among the pigeons. now a look at the leaderboard after 13 days. hakuho is still in the driver's seat with one loss. tochinoshin with two losses can still win this but with a lot of luck. there are four men with three loss but hakuho would have to lose three in a row for them to get back in the race. hakuho has baruto on day 14 and ross mihara will have "newsline" coverage. hi there. time to see what the weekend has in store weatherwise across eastern asia. well, we do have a new system. this is going to be a tropical depression just east down here.
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it's not quite impacting the philippines directly, but what it is doing is pulling in a lot of moisture. so we will see continued downpours and thunderstorms across much of the philippines over the weekend. we're expecting to see this system moving up to the north and the west, strengthening as it goes. definitely one to keep an eye on. at the moment, mostly dry conditions across japan. starting to see storms up the north. fairly stormy for the sea of japan side of the country and the showers will make their way over towards the pacific side, as well, but it should be fairly light. in behind that, high pressure is going to be taking control of parts of the northern china, as well as mongolia. the korean peninsula, too. we should see rising temperatures into next week. we see a lot of moisture coming down here into southern portions of china. it is good news. we've had very dry and very hot conditions here over the last several days. we're going to start to see very
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high temperatures coming back down again, which is good news. but some of these downpours are going to be on the heavy side. anywhere you're seeing in the yellow could be 100 millimeters of rain and, in fact, the parts of northern myanmar and northeastern india and bangladesh, you could see 150 millimeters. there's definitely going to be a high risk of things like flooding and landslides, too. temperatures, 27 degrees, not cool at all in tokyo tomorrow and dry day. 30 degrees in shanghai. 31 in chongqing. looking for this figure to drop further into next week. your low is even getting down below zero. so make sure you do take care and wrap up during the overnight hours. into north america we go. you can see this very dense cloud. this is going to be our severe area today. lots and lots of rain off of this very slow-moving system. it's really trapped by this high pressure towards the east. severe, i said, well, texas up into nebraska, thunderstorms, damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes as well, all on the cards. this basically same area that was being effected thursday. so you really need to watch for that and check your local forecast.
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we're seeing -- starting to see that very stubborn system move out of the way out of the northeast, but maybe on your friday it's going to be quite unstable. here are your temperatures. 27 in winnipeg. dry day for you. 21 in chicago. moderate rain in mexico city. 30 degrees. 22 in los angeles. sunshine and 18 degrees in vancouver. all right. as for europe, well, those showers moving across the northern british isles for the last several days are going to intensify into the weekend. it is going to be fairly wet and gusty for you. and the same goes for much of norway as well. as for the southwest down here, few scattered thunderstorms, showers, i should say, really, but generally a fine picture. across parts of germany, down into eastern balkans, maybe some of those storms will get a bit more severe. and then more heavy rain and storms for you in eastern and northern parts of turkey. here are your temperatures. very warm across much of europe. in fact, temperatures way above average. i'll leave you your extended forecast.
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b. that wraps it up for now on "newsline." we'll be back with more news in half an hour. i'm michio kijima in tokyo, thank you for watching. bye-bye.
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